What would your pet’s New Year Resolutions be? Eat an extra treat each day? Add 20 minutes to each nap time? Find extra table scraps on the floor? Fortunately, our pets don’t pick their resolutions, we pick for them! Here is a list of 5 simple resolutions that can have an enormous influence on your pet’s 2018 and beyond! (Spoiler alert: Your pet may try to guilt you on some of these but STAY STRONG PET PARENTS!)
1. Measure your pet’s food each meal
On the side of your pet’s food should be a recommended amount to feed each day. Following these instructions can be a simple way to cut the pounds if your pet is a bit plump. The awesome part? All you need is a measuring cup! No not the enormous tumbler you picked up on vacation. A simple measuring cup! The hardest part are those puppy and kitten stares. Stay strong and dedicated to your amounts as a healthy weight has a huge impact on your fur family member’s overall health.
If you find yourself unable to handle the incessant begging or the disappointed eyes when your pet sees the amount in their food bowl, you can add unsalted green beans, carrots, or cucumbers as a filler snack to keep the perceived hunger at bay.
2. Increase Activity Levels
Since we talked about the amount of food intake, we must also touch on exercise! Adding additional walks or exercise into your pet’s 2018 should be another resolution on your radar. Add some fetch or make your walks a little longer. This will not only help keep your pet at a healthy weight, but stimulate their minds too! Plus, it is a good way to get us humans up on our feet to bond with our fur friends while burning off that extra helping of desert we couldn’t deny over the holiday season!
In the Peoria and surrounding areas, extreme cold or hot temperatures can limit the exposure we want our pet to have to the outdoors. Finding creative solutions like “hallway fetch” or hide and seek are just a couple of creative solutions to at least get some activity in for your pet so that he/she doesn’t go stir crazy!
3. Run blood work on your healthy pet
Checking blood work is a common diagnostic during sick pet appointments, but not enough pet owners think about checking this on a yearly basis. This year, make it a resolution to run a blood panel even if your pet seems perfectly healthy. Unfortunately our fur friends can’t communicate how they are feeling to us. Running this blood work can act as your pet’s voice.
Adding this diagnostic to your pet’s yearly regimen is something that will impact the cost of your visit, but the value it provides cannot be quantified. This diagnostic could make a difference to catch enormous issues early and avoid hospitalization or worse down the road.
4. Commit to 12 months of preventatives
This chart shows the number of pets diagnoses as having fleas between our 3 clinics. Take time to notice that the 3 months with the least amounts of diagnoses occurred in April, May, and June. This likely has much to do with the fact that pet owners generally associate warmer months with fleas and ticks, opting to be diligent with preventative administration in their pets. Conversely, notice October and November as being the highest months of diagnosed cases of fleas on patients. Even December, January, and February see many canines and felines diagnosed with fleas.
This year, make it another resolution to treat your pet with a flea/tick/heartworm preventative year round. While fleas and ticks can cost you a large amount of time and money to get rid of once they are in your house, the above graph doesn’t even touch on the amount of heartworm diagnoses we have seen. Treating for heartworms will cost you over $1,000 and threaten your pet’s life.
Stick with 12 months of that flea/tick/heartworm preventative. Your pet will thank you (and so could your wallet)!
5. Focus on Dental Care
The final resolution is to practice dental diligence. There are several options to maintain your pet’s pearly whites. Getting your canine or feline into a routine of brushing can prove to be difficult, but with enough practice and the right supplies, it can be done. Giving your pet dental chews or water additive is a less effective option than staying on top of brushing, but is better than nothing. These dental chews help break up the build up on those chompers.
If your pet is in a situation where the plaque has built up, it may be time for a dental cleaning. The benefits of having us perform a dental on your pet go far beyond improving their breath (though that is a nice byproduct). Keeping the teeth clean helps prevent infections that make it painful for your fur family to even eat, and eventually, the bacteria buildup will cause problems elsewhere in your pet.
Have any questions on any of these resolutions? Leave a comment below or contact any of our three locations!